The Preparation for Durga Pujo – #bloggersdurgapujo

The vibe of Durga Pujo is already highly electrifying in the City of Joy, Kolkata. Being a Bengali residing outside Kolkata during Pujo is highly hurting. And am sure if you are also sailing in the same boat like me would resonate to what I just mentioned. Nevertheless, #bloggersdurgapujo is where I and few of my blogger friends are celebrating the vibe of the biggest festival of the year through some great posts on our blogs – to celebrate Durga Pujo in a different way.

During Durga Pujo, I walk down the memory lane remembering my earlier days during Pujo when I was in Kolkata and used to celebrate Pujo in the quarters campus. My father was in government service and we used to stay in a quarter campus, which was like a family for us.

Pandal Preparation

Kash phool (Saccharum spontaneum) growing every places this time is the sign of the start of the season of Sarat Kal and the festival season. Durga Pujo means fun, food, lights everywhere in the city and for I and my friends in the quarter campus it was the most fun time. The entire city of Kolkata looks like a newly wedded bride in her full getup during her wedding night. In our quarter campus, when we were kids, I still remember the dry bamboo sticks, wooden planks etc. used to arrive sequentially for the making of the pandal. From that day itself, Durga Pujo started for us. The artisans used to come every day in the morning to set up the pandal and they used to work until the dusk. Each passing day as the pandal took its shape it symbolized the onset of the arrival of Maa Durga in our quarter campus. I remember the days in my childhood when my friends and I used to climb and play in the half-done structure of the pandal.

Shiuli phool (Saccharum spontaneum)
Prep for the pandal construction

Shopping

Shopping for Durga Pujo was kind of a project for my siblings and me and still it’s the same I guess for many. What to wear on what day of the Pujo? When to wear – whether it is a morning or eveningwear? Keeping that in mind I and my siblings used to plan what to buy, where to go for shopping and when to go. While on the shopping spree, we used to visit different shops to choose the best dress or shoes that matches our plan. It was a great fun.

Pandals – decoration and creativity

The final output of more than few months’ of hard work and creativity of the pandal artisans is just astonishing. During Durga Pujo, the entire city comes onto the road – no matter what is the time in the clock. My pandal hopping used to be for at least two days – one day with my friends group and the other day with my family. It used to be the whole night affair and we use to return home only next day morning at 6 AM or so.

Lighting – another creative aspect

Lighting is another intricate part of the entire festival. Pandal hoppers enjoy the lighting as well to the fullest. Every other pandal has different lighting, especially the chandeliers in the pandals. There are so much creativity in this area as well. In some of the pandals in Kolkata like College Square Durga Pujo chandelier is the main attraction for the pandal hoppers.

Idols – Maa Durga

With the decoration, lighting and pandal how could I forget mentioning the huge, fully decorative and creative idols that these pandals house during Pujo. During the time of pandal hopping I used to concentrate on exploring the beautiful and highly creative idols in every pandal. None of the idols matches one another and they are strikingly different from each other. Whether it is Mohammad Ali Park or Mudiali Club or Babubagan Club or Jodhour Park – all the idols are different and gives tough competition to each other. Durga Pujo is like display of creativity in the entire city of Kolkata.

This Durga Pujo I have not had a chance to go to my hometown Kolkata. I will visit some of the Durga Pujo pandals in Bangalore. And also enjoying my stint of Durga Pujo with my fellow blogger friends on #bloggersdurgapujo. I cannot conclude the post without mentioning and crediting my three sisters – Rinka Chatterjee, Poulami Das and Debolina Byabartta. They helped me with the beautiful pictures from Kolkata that has decorated my post and makes it complete.

This post will be incomplete if I do not mention me playing with my friends and the flash fire toy gun, which is the signature aspect of Druga Pujo. When I grew up from that stage, it was more of “adda” with the group until the late night in the pandal in my quarter campus. It used to be talks, singing, fun and much more. That time it was like the clock moves fastest than any other time. How can I forget to mention eating of street food during Pujo, which is like tastiest during Pujo. I still remember I used to tell my mom not to prepare dinner for the 4-5 days as I’ll be eating out. The pushpanjali in Ashtami, wearing Dhuti-Panjabi was a must for that day. Lastly the sad day of “bisorjon” (immersion) in Dasami. It used to be a different mood and environment altogether during the Dasami as Maa is leaving us for a year. We all used to dance to the immersion spot enchanting “asche bochor abar hobe” (it’ll again be done next year). Many other emotions, feelings and nostalgia are running through my mind as I’m writing this post. I’m in loss of words to express them all neither I want to make this post a huge one. I hope I can bestow these feelings and emotions to my next generation and help them live the times of Durga Pujo.

The Excitement of #bloggersdurgapujo Season 2

It was sometime at the beginning of September 2017, I can’t remember the exact date though, I received a message on Twitter from Kuheli sharing her thought of #bloggersdurgapujo and the collaboration. The time we both chatted the name #bloggersdurgapujo was not yet created, it was just a thought without the hashtag. I still remember how excited I was to this thought and glad to be a part of this collaboration. Rahul and Paromita, both from Hyderabad, joined the team. It was just 4 of us. A WhatsApp group was created and we 4 started gathering and planning for the posts, dates, sharing on social media etc. It was fun joining the group and for the first time in my blogging spree, I had been a part of such an exciting collaboration. And when it is about our biggest festival of the year Durga Pujo. The name #bloggersdurgapujo took shape during our WhatsApp brainstorming session. It was great fun for me. Choosing a topic and the day of having the post up on our respective blogs was pretty easy as we were just 4 and we chose 4 days of Durga Pujo when we would post. Rahul also posted a wrap-up post and I covered a few big Pujo in Bangalore and posted a video on my YouTube channel. You can check out the video here. This was the end of the #bloggersdurgapujo collaboration in 2017 but the collaboration among 4 of us continued as we remained in touch in WhatsApp. And that brought us here again together to make #bloggersdurgapujo bigger, brighter and more exciting in 2018 Durga Pujo.

The 2018 #bloggersdurgapujo

The 2018 Durga Pujo is nearing and again it was beginning of September when Rahul, this time, started the conversation for reviving our very own #bloggersdurgapujo. Instantly, the response was yes from all 4 of us, but this time we thought of making it bigger and brighter. The group of participating bloggers for this year’s #bloggersdurgapujo has increased 5 folds with 20 bloggers including myself. This has been incredible experience. This year’s Durga Pujo is going to be different for me and my group of Bengali bloggers from different parts of India where we will capture the essence of Durga Pujo in our own ways. There will be posts on each of our blogs pertaining to varied themes like food, travel, fashion, recipes, pandal hopping, fiction and many more. The #bloggersdurgapujo in this year’s Durga Pujo is the perfect example of “Bigger is better and brighter” and here we come with a bigger and better experience for our readers.

So don’t miss the chance to engage with the hashtag on social media – Twitter, Instagram & Facebook as we all share our experiences. Also, visit the blogs of the participating bloggers to taste the flavors of their recipes to enjoy Durga Pujo 2018.

List of Participating Bloggers

Dr. Amrita Basu (Misra): https://healthwealthbridge.com

Anupriya Gupta: https://hehttp://www.mommytincture.comalthwealthbridge.com

Esha Chakraborty: https://bookhippo.wordpress.com

Indrani Ghose: https://isharethese.com

Kapila Rattan Bhowmik: http://www.everylittlethinghappiness.com

Dr. Kuheli Bhattacharya: http://www.thefoodietrails.com

Moumita Sen: https://www.socialconnoisseursblog.com

Nehal Roy: http://www.easyhomeremedies.co.in

Paromita Biswas: https://goodtimestrails.com

Rahul Basu: https://bongfooodie.com

Sayanti Mahapatra: http://bingeonbasics.com

Shalini Magdel Das: http://lostloveadventure.com/

Shamik Byabartta: http://www.mixedflavorsblog.com

Sharmishtha S Ghosh: https://letstalkjhaalmishti.wordpress.com

Shruti Dugar: http://webofwords.in

Siya Bose: https://bestylechic.wordpress.com

Sonali Chauhan: https://sonalichauhanreviews.wordpress.com

Sonia Chatterjee: https://soniasmusings.com

Soumosri & Utsab Pal (Couple blogger): https://happilyfoodies.wordpress.com/

Vasundhara Sarkar: http://thesassyshimmer.blogspot.com

Durga Puja 2018: A glimpse of this year’s #bloggersdurgapujo

Here I’m starting my Durga Puja 2018 with this year’s #bloggersdurgapujo campaign. This year the start of this much awaited bigger, better and brighter #bloggersdurgapujo will be with a teaser post. Like last year my Durga Puja 2018 will have the essence of #bloggersdurgapujo.

Before I delve more into #bloggersdurgapujo let me talk a bit about my blog.

If you see my blog you can connect why I’ve kept my blog name as The Mixed Flavors. It has posts about everything – cooking, recipes, traveling, reviews, lifestyle and more. There is everything in my blog for every readers and are loved by them all. The newest section on my blog is the Store section, which is my try of recognizing my wife Manasi’s creative side and bring it in front of a larger audience.

Coming back to the super exciting #bloggersdurgapujo campaign, I’m very much excited to be a part of it this year too. It all started last year with just 4 blogger friends – Kuheli, Paromita, Rahul and myself from different cities of India. This year it is coming with larger participants – a bigger and brighter campaign. That means the essence of the festival will be more intense this year.

The aim of this campaign is to share the essence of Durga Pujo, the biggest festival of the Bengali community, with the larger audience. The essence of Durga Puja will be captured by bloggers from different parts of the country and shared in the form of blog posts or vlogs. The Durga Puja 2018 is going to be bit different for me with this campaign.

I hope you all will enjoy and love this campaign like last year. I urge all my readers to follow the #bloggersdurgapujo on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to visit the blogs of the participating bloggers and enjoy the essence of Durga Puja in a unique way this time.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter #MyFriendAlexa

What makes a good writer

What makes a good writer? – This appears to be a simple question, but the inner meaning of the question is vast. The answer for this question is difficult. A writer has the ability to reach a person’s mind through his/her writing. This might give a little hint what it might take to be a really good writer.

Let’s first look what writing actually is, and then we will try finding answer for the question – What makes a good writer. So what is writing? Some might say it is an art whereas others may call it a science. In the broader sense, writing is both an art and science. It is an art because of the various style aspects and because of the technical aspects that are used for writing, it is termed as science. The quality of a good writing is measured by the targeted audience – the more the audience the good the writing is. The other name of a writer is litterateur.

Now let’s look at what actually it takes to set foot as a real good writer. A good writer is one who can reach a reader’s mind easily and grab their attention. Intention of a good writer is to express his/her thoughts – not only just within the boundary of traditionalism but also beyond that. If the writer does not have feelings and passion, it will be difficult, rather impossible, to reach the audience and in turn to become a good writer. The goal of a good writer should be, to search the reality and bring it to the mass in a crisp and concise manner, which should be easy to understand for common man. If a writer can think the way a common man thinks, it would be easy to make an impression in common man’s heart and mind and also build a connect. In that way a writer’s writing would take the shape as if it is narrating a story which is no less than resembling the reality. A writer’s writing is considered successful, when the reader blends him/herself with the character of the story and started thinking as if it’s happening to him/her.

The characteristic of a good writer is to mold him/herself into mindset of the reader. A writer is considered good when his/her writings inspire the reader and motivates to a great extent. One of the biggest aspects of a writer is to present his/her expressions in a very simple, concise, crisp yet understandable language so that it will be easy for the reader to get engaged with the subject. And that would be termed as a success of a good writer. A writer considers good when his writings broadens a readers mentality, helps them bloom as a real human being and make them understand the proper meaning of the phrase man is a social animal. But yes, the writer him/herself should be broad-minded and ready to accept truth and reality with an open heart and mind. If one has to be a good writer, he has to be an open-minded and a good human being first. This article may help you getting a small answer for a vast question – What makes a good writer?

7 Roles in a Woman’s Life

Women are the pioneers of a nation and Indian culture attaches a great importance to women. It is difficult to think a sustainable development in a family without a woman in the house. There are number of roles that a woman plays in her life. Hence it won’t be wrong if we call them the super women. A woman plays multiple roles in her daily life – be it as wife, a mother, an administrator or a leader. From a mother to a wife to a businesswoman to a best friend – a woman is more than just the household queen. She sways in different areas of her life seamlessly. I tried to depict the 7 roles in a woman’s life, particularly in a household, in this post.

As a wife: As a wife she is not only a partner in the house but also a helpmate to her husband and a comrade. She sacrifices her personal ambitions and pleasures and focuses on setting standard of morality along with maintaining peace and order within the household. She plays a pivotal role in creating the environment for her husband to think more about the economic prosperity of the family. In short as a wife she is the inspiration to her husband for the high endeavors and the achievements in life. This is one of the most important one among the 7 roles in a woman’s life.

As mother:  A role of mother is the most important and challenging for a woman. The complete burden of child-bearing and a greater part of rearing a child is borne by the woman in the house. A mother takes the major responsibility to inculcate the sense of orderliness, discipline, honesty etc. in her child. The unconditional love that a mother gives to her child cannot be described in words.

As a daughter: Am sure many people will agree with me that a daughter is a bundle of joy in the household. The distinct aura and chirping nature of a daughter keep the household fill with joy and happiness. I would like to reiterate one thing that a daughter is as precious in the household as a son.

As a sister: As a sister she is your best friend. When a sister is elder she is more like a motherly figure to her siblings. On the other hand when she is a younger sister it is her innocent jokes, lively vibes and jovial nature make the home environment charming and vibrant. As a funny note she is a walking-talking ATM (Any Time Network) when it comes to family gossip.

As a daughter-in-law: This role of a woman comes with more of responsibility. When a woman comes to a house as a daughter-in-law there would be sky high expectation of the members of the house. It is her nature of adaptability that makes her to get adjusted to the new environment, leaving her childhood home, and make the new house her own. This role, according to me, shows how much patient and adaptive a woman can be.

As a friend: Friends play very vital role in our life. A woman’s another role in her life is as a friend. A woman is a friend to whom you can lean on when you are sad, a friend with whom you can share your happy moments and a friend who can guide you through the right path when you are puzzled. If you have a friend who is a jovial and understanding there is nothing like it.

As a grandmother: The most affectionate role that a woman plays is of a grandmother towards her grandchildren. Her loving shelter is the place where you would find the safest place to get away from your father’s anger. She is always at the disposal of her grandchild and is always ready to listen to the concerns. She is the loving medium when you want to put forward a special request to your parents.

As a whole I would like to conclude that a woman is the super power who plays multiple roles in the society and household. The multi-tasking nature of a woman is commendable and that inspired me to curate this post – 7 Roles in a Woman’s Life. There are many others apart from these 7 roles in a woman’s life. It is her adaptive, patient and multi-tasking nature that deserves a big round of applause!!

7 World Cuisines I Like

Good food has always been a weakness for me. I’m a big foodie and love to eat different kinds of food and cuisines. I love tasting the local cuisines whenever I go on a travel to get the experience of different kinds of local cuisine. Since I’ve traveled different parts of India, I’ve tasted many regional cuisines of those places. Yes of course some there were some dishes I did not like but that did not hold me back to taste different cuisines. This post is about 7 world cuisines that are close to my taste buds. I tried these seven cuisines in some or the other specialty restaurants in my city itself and did not have to travel to those countries to try out the cuisines.

Indian Cuisine: This post would not be enough to completely describe India cuisine. The diverse variety of taste makes it unique from the rest of the cuisine. The varieties of Indian cuisine ranges from flat-tasted recipes to very rich and spicy ones. Whether you want to have veg or non-veg delicacies both will give immense pleasure to your taste buds. The India cuisine tops my list of 7 world cuisines

Chinese Cuisine: I’m a big fan of Chinese cuisine and hence have included this in my list of 7 world cuisines. I take trips to Chinese specialty restaurants pretty often or may be order it home too. There are eight Chinese cuisines that ranges from light and sweet delicacies from Jiangsu or Zhejiang provinces to hot and spicy delicacies from Sichuan or Hunan provinces. I’m not very fond of sweet delicacies and I generally choose delicacies that are hot and spicy.

Thai Cuisine: Thai cuisines carry a great blend of detail, balance and variety. You can get lightly prepared dishes as well as highly aromatic and spicy ones in Thai cuisine. There is no room for simplicity in Thai cuisines. According to Thai chef McDang Thai cuisines demonstrate intricacy, texture, color, attention to detail and taste. He also stresses that the ingredients that are used in Thai recipes not just give them great taste but are of medicinal benefits as well.

Italian Cuisine: When we talk about Italian cuisine – the two most popular names that come to our mind are pizza and pasta. But there are many other stuffs in Italian cuisine too. You can see notable regional diversity in the Italian cuisine, especially from the north and south Italy. Coffee has become a major staple element in Italian cuisine, especially espresso. The main characteristic of Italian cuisine is the simplicity of the dish. Many of the Italian delicacies have only four to eight ingredients. However, that does not compromise on the taste of the dishes.

Continental Cuisine: Continental cuisine is the food type that is eaten in the European countries. The process of cooking and the ingredients used in this cuisine makes it different from the other cuisines. The main ingredients in Continental cuisine include thyme, oregano, rosemary, cheese and the most important one is olive oil. And the processes that are primarily used for cooking is fast cooking or baking.

Spanish Cuisine: Spanish cuisines are highly influenced by the regional cuisines of Spain with particular historical processes that shaped the culture as well as the society in those regions. The ingredients used in Spanish cuisines and also the cooking process are greatly influenced by the climate and geography of the country. There are great number of traditional Spanish meals. Andalucia, Balearic, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid and Valencia are few among them.

Indonesian Cuisine: Indonesian cuisines are regarded as one of the most colorful and vibrant cuisines in the world. The Indonesian cuisines are highly diverse and full of intense flavors. Rice, wheat and starchy tubers like potato, sweet potato, yam etc. are the staples in Indonesia. You can see usage of spices like nutmeg or mace, pandan leaves, clove, galangal and keluwak in Indonesian cuisines, which are the native spices of Indonesia.

These are the 7 world cuisines in my list of liking. I’ve tasted all these 7 cuisines personally. It’s not only that I had visited the specialty restaurants to taste these cuisines, I’ve prepared some or the other dishes from each of the cuisines.

My List of 7 Movies

This topic is very close to my heart. Movies – this name itself carries a great importance to me. I can call myself a movie freak and my weekends are never complete without movies. I love watching movies. Am sure there numerous people on this earth who love watching movies and of course their tastes differ. It is not necessary that the move that one person likes would be liked by the others. It’s completely a personal choice. This post is about my list of 7 movies.

I’ve seen many movies till date and to be honest the language never became a barrier to enjoy a great movie. I’ve watched movies in German, Korean, Spanish, Cantonese, French and many others in terms of international language. Likewise I’ve watched many movies in Indian regional languages too. You might be thinking do I know so many languages – not at all. Subtitles were there for the rescue. The aim behind the post is to share my list of 7 movies with all the movie lovers.

Perfume: This movies one of my personal favorites. This psychological thriller is a completely different one in this genre. I’ve seen many psychological thrillers but this movies is at a different level for me. The way the story is depicted of a psycho guy who is mad about scent and searching for that one scent is commendable.

Pearl Harbor: I think this movie has been in the favorite list of many of the movie lovers. The incredible direction blended with excellent camera work makes this movie a treat to watch. The love triangle is the added punch to this drama.

Titanic: Who can forget this James Cameron movie? I remember I was in school when this movie was released. The movies is beyond words for me. I still love watching Titanic even today. I cannot change my TV channel if this move is airing.

3 Idiots: This fun, drama movies is one of the greatest movies in the recent times. 3 Idiots surely will make you remember your college days. Though the movie is fun, it gives a great learning as well.

Sholay: The greatest movie of all time for me. The action scenes in Sholay are just beyond description. It is a 1975 movie and that time movie with so much happening stuffs was beyond imagination. I still love watching this movies whenever it comes on TV.

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge: A romantic classic of the 1990’s. This is another movie that is very close to my heart. The special call out for this movie is the music of this movie. The songs still rule the hearts of the music lovers.

The Others: I love watching horror movies and The Others is one of those horror movies that I can’t forget. More than a plot it is the mood of the movie that attracted me. The acting of Nicole Kidman along with her two children is just awesome.

I had highlighted seven movies that are on my list – though there are many others which I enjoyed and cherished watching – these seven I thought would be apt for this post.

7 days of Blogging

7 days of blogging – this is the topic I thought to start with in the #Barathon, edition 2. The fortnight-long blogging marathon by Blog-A-Rhythm is going to be fun for sure. I always loved writing and I think this would be a great platform and of course a great enthusiasm for me to carry on with my passion. When I came across the #Barathon, edition 2 I was a bit sceptical as to whether I should take this up and register myself. There was a question in my mind – will I be able to complete the challenge? Even though I would take up the challenge, what topics should I choose to write? I gave a thought for couple of days and finally decided to join in the race for #Barathon, edition 2. Magically many topics ran through my mind and here I’m with my first post in the arena.

The idea of 7 days of blogging marathon is a kick-ass idea in itself. If you are enthusiastic about blogging this idea will surely give you the push to be a part of it. I’m very much excited about this #Barathon, edition 2 and hence started preparing my posts for the activity. This will actually be a testing for me to come out of my comfort zone. The moment I decided to take up this challenge I decided this as well that I need to complete the challenge by posting on all the 7 days and I’m highly positive that I’m going to do that.

Another excitement for me about this 7 days of blogging marathon is that I’ll have the opportunity of reading exciting posts of many other fellow and talented bloggers. I love reading blogs and do not restrict myself to any particular niche. I read blogs from every genre be it food, travel, lifestyle etc. I’m pretty excited about the blogging marathon am sure everyone else too who have already registered for the challenge. Looking forward to have an exciting fortnight of blogging!!